Dose-Dependent Development of Depressive Symptoms During Adjuvant Interferon- Treatment of Patients With Malignant Melanoma
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BACKGROUND: Adjuvant IFN-α treatment for patients with malignant melanoma is often complicated by depression. The influence of dosage, however, is unknown. OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to elucidate this dosage effect. METHOD: Using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and the German Bf-S Self-Rating (Affectivity) Scale, the authors prospectively compared the frequency and severity of IFN-α-induced depressive symptoms between a group of 29 patients receiving low-dose and 17 patients getting high-dose induction therapy for 4 weeks. RESULTS: Patients receiving high-dose induction treatment had significantly higher depression scores after 4 weeks, and significantly more patients in the high-dose group developed depression. CONCLUSION: The authors concluded that frequency and severity of IFN-α-associated depression during melanoma treatment are dose-dependent.
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